Behind every scholarship fund is a story, and behind every new scholar is a story waiting to be written. This is the heartwarming story of the Ruth Henderson Memorial Scholarship.

A dedicated kindergarten teacher, Ruth Henderson taught for over 40 years in Brush, Colorado, touching the lives of hundreds of children. Throughout her rich career, Ruth unknowingly built a legacy. It wasn’t unusual for three generations in the same ​family to have had Mrs. Henderson as their kindergarten teacher. Those who loved her describe her devotion to her students, her passion for early childhood education, and her dedication to her community. Among a variety of volunteer roles, Ruth helped provide programming at the Ebenezer Nursing Home until her late 80s, when she was older than many of the residents she served!

To honor her memory and the many contributions Ruth made to Eastern Colorado, Don and Dave Macy, her nephews and trustees of her estate, established the Ruth Henderson Memorial Scholarship. The fund has awarded nearly $600,000 since its inception to students from the Eastern Plains of Colorado who are pursuing a career in education.

One of these deserving students is Joey Gerk. Joey is attending the University of Northern Colorado to pursue his Elementary Education degree. He grew up in the rural community of Haxtun, Colorado, where he developed an interest in the family tradition. He says,

“I come from a family of educators and from a young age have wanted to become a teacher myself. I have seen firsthand how rewarding the teaching profession can be and cannot wait to help my future students reach their goals.”

Through Joey, the other two 2021 scholarship recipients, and the many scholars who preceded them, Ruth’s legacy lives on. Sloan Macy, fund advisor for the Ruth Henderson Memorial Fund, says, “We are proud of [all Henderson scholars’] hard work. We are deeply honored that through the fund we have been able to give back to the community that Ruth loved and dedicated her life to.”